The NCAA transfer portal has changed the landscape of college football in both recruiting and on the field. Transfers can often have an immediate impact on their new teams and be the difference between winning and losing. There are hundreds of new transfers to FCS teams this year, but a few stand out above the rest.
Here's a look at 16 transfers who could greatly impact the 2022 FCS season.
QB Matthew McKay | Elon from Montana State
Montana State made the FCS championship game last year, but it wasn't expected from most. Part of that is because before the playoffs began, quarterback Matthew McKay — who helped lead the Bobcats to a 9-2 record — announced he was entering the transfer portal. McKay now heads back to North Carolina — he began his college career at NC State — to suit up for an always dangerous Elon team.
The 'Cats are rolling now!!!— Montana State Football (@MSUBobcats_FB) October 23, 2021
McKay finds Willie P and he races in for the 65-yard TD reception.
🎥 ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/cRmeXSS9Q1
QB Jarren Williams | Alabama A&M from South Florida
At Alabama A&M, quarterback Aqeel Glass lit up the SWAC and record books the last two years. Glass is now gone and in comes 28 — and counting — transfers. Quarterback Jarren Williams might be the most important of them all. Williams joins the Bulldogs from South Florida, previously attending Miami (Fla.). In his third stop, Williams will try to lead Alabama A&M, picking up where Glass left off; he'll have the help of brilliant offensive coordinator Duane Taylor to do so.
Miami single game record ✅— ACC Network (@accnetwork) November 9, 2019
Ties ACC single-game record ✅@CanesFootball's Jarren Williams is out here making history! pic.twitter.com/xfCzHWOI0D
PORTAL: These FCS teams have been most active in the transfer portal this offseason
QB Reece Udinski | Richmond from Maryland
Yes, Reece Udinski is transferring to Richmond from Maryland. But you might remember Udinski best from his time at VMI. Before winning the Pinstripe Bowl as a backup with the Terrapins, Udinski became VMI's all-time leading passer. Udiniski is now back at the FCS level, looking to again light up the scoreboard.
🅃🅁🄰🄽🅂🄵🄴🅁 🅃🅁🄰🄲🄺🄴🅁— Richmond Spider Football (@Spiders_FB) February 15, 2022
Get to know the newest 🕷 on campus in quarterback @ReeceUdinski. Here for spring practice and ready to get to work!#OneRichmond x #CAAFB @SpiderAthletics pic.twitter.com/FHgvjcu79f
QB Kajiya Hollawayne | Grambling State from UCLA
Quarterback Kajiya Hollawayne transfers from UCLA to Grambling State. The 6-4' signal-caller was a three-star prospect coming out of high school in 2021. New head coach Hue Jackson went out and got Hollawayne as one of his first commits in a notable move from the offensive-minded coach. However, quarterback Noah Bodden remains a Tiger, meaning Grambling State is in for an impressive quarterback competition this offseason.
RB Carlos Washington Jr. | Southeastern Louisiana from New Hampshire
Quarterback Cole Kelley, a Walter Payton Award winner, led Southeastern Louisiana in rushing yards last fall. Kelley is off to the NFL, as is his dual-threat capability. However, in comes running back Carlos Washington Jr. from New Hampshire. The transfer has over 1,700 career rushing yards and averages more than four yards per carry. Washington will be one of the players the Lions look to replace one of the greatest players in school history.
Carlos Washington Jr. is off to a big start in this one!@UNH_Football with the 14-0 lead in the second #CAAFB pic.twitter.com/RS42W0rPlF— CAA Football (@CAAFootball) November 20, 2021
RB Elijah Dotson | Northern Colorado from Sacramento State
From 2017-19, running back Elijah Dotson was one of the best in the FCS, earning All-American honors and climbing up the Sacramento State rushing charts. Then came 2020's COVID-19 cancellation. Dotson returned to the gridiron in 2021, but after starting the first four games, he opted to redshirt to preserve his eligibility. Now, Dotson heads to Northern Colorado, remaining in the Big Sky — a conference he dominated throughout his career.
One play after his big catch, Elijah Dotson darts into the end zone to make it 35-0 in favor of the Hornets. #StingersUp #BigSkyFB pic.twitter.com/n9Hric3pAx— Sac State Football (@SacHornetsFB) November 12, 2017
WR Jakob Herres | Richmond from VMI
You already read about Richmond grabbing VMI's all-time leading passer, but it also landed its all-time leading receiver, too. Wide receiver Jakob Herres transfers from VMI to Richmond, bringing 200-plus catches, 3,000-plus yards and 26 touchdowns. Herres is one of the FCS's best wideouts, and Richmond picks up an elite target on the outside.
#TopPlayTuesday featuring Jakob Herres' late game heroics (x2) 💪#RahVaMil 🏈 @VMI_Football pic.twitter.com/XderGnqrxD— VMI Athletics (@VMIAthletics) July 13, 2021
WR Jalyn Witcher | Delaware from Presbyterian
Wide receiver Jalyn Witcher was only a freshman last year at Presbyterian but had a legitimate claim as the best wideout in the FCS. In 2021, he finished near the top of every receiving category, helped Presbyterian to the top passing offense in the nation and broke every school record. Now, Witcher heads to Delaware, giving returning quarterback Nolan Henderson a dynamic weapon on the outside.
OL Josh Stevens | Delaware from Georgetown
Delaware started the offseason by losing its head coach and with a couple of transfer portal scares. However, some of the Blue Hens that entered the portal are back after testing the waters. Joining them is offensive lineman Josh Stevens from Georgetown. Stevens played left tackle for the Hoyas and will fill the void of All-American David Kroll.
OL Simi Moala | Jackson State from Utah
Last year, Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders said that the offensive line was "the weakest unit we have." The Tigers finished last in the SWAC in rushing yards, with their struggles apparent in their stunning Celebration Bowl loss. In come five offensive line transfers, none bigger than former Utah Ute Simi Moala. Moala is a swing tackle that started 18 of 21 possible games at Utah that should help stabilize a rocky offensive line.
DL Antonio Doyle | Jackson State from TAMU
Edge defender Antonio Doyle is the highest-rated FCS commit from the 247 transfer portal rankings. Doyle heads to Jackson State from Texas A&M, likely filling the void of James Houston, who finished second in the FCS in sacks and fifth in tackles for loss. In Coach Prime's defensive scheme, Doyle has the potential to explode this fall.
LB Antonio Montero | Villanova from Rice
In 2021, Villanova linebacker Forrest Rhyne was one of the best defenders in the FCS, finishing eighth in Buck Buchanan Award voting. Rhyne's time as a Wildcat is over, but in comes Antonio Montero, a linebacker from Rice. The FBS transfer finished his career at Rice with 29 starts and won the program's Jess Neely Defensive Award as the best linebacker. Montero should help make Villanova's defense one of the best in the FCS yet again.
CB Michael Irons | Samford from Cornell
Michael Irons heads from the Ivy League to the SoCon, transferring from Cornell to Samford. Irons brings with him experience and skill, earning second-team All-Ivy honors at cornerback in 2021.
Michael Irons with his first career takeaway to give Cornell the ball back leading Colgate 3-0 in the first quarter. #YellCornell Watch live on ESPN+ https://t.co/4FP3UncsZt pic.twitter.com/yse6La1Ivy— Cornell Video (@CornellVideo) October 19, 2019
S Jordan Colbert | Rhode Island from Columbia
Safety Jordan Colbert heads to Rhode Island from Columbia. An All-Ivy League snub, Colbert is a versatile playmaker in the backend. With the Lions, Colbert showed impressive range when playing deep and physicality when playing in the box. Colbert also has the skill to cover slots and tight ends in man-to-man coverage, stemming from his early days as a corner. Colbert should be a key piece to Rhode Island's defense as the Rams make a run in a wide-open CAA.
Merry Christmas pt. 2 🎄 (Edited by: @Zayawayaa ) pic.twitter.com/xeU0vObT3j— Jordan Colbert (@Jordan_Colbz) December 25, 2021
DB BJ Foster | Sam Houston from Texas
Coming out of high school, BJ Fosters was a consensus five-star prospect. At Texas, Foster faced injuries and three defensive coordinators in his time as a Longhorn. Yet, Foster still finished 2021 as an All-Big 12 honorable mention honoree. Now Foster heads to Sam Houston for his final year of eligibility.
BJ Foster with an interception on the opening possession of the game! #HookEm | @InsideTexas pic.twitter.com/2jqJbyqCc4— Hudson Standish (@247Hudson) October 30, 2021
DB Kym'Mani King | FAMU from Iowa State
Florida A&M has an opening at the safety position after the departure of NFL Draft pick Markquese Bell. In comes defensive back Kym'Mani King joins Florida A&M from Iowa State. King played much of his final season with the Cyclones with a broken hand, displaying a toughness that will translate seamlessly with the Rattlers.
Can’t have the money without pain I need EVERYTHING🥋 pic.twitter.com/tU21rcDglS— Kym-mani King (@kymmani22) March 23, 2022